Monday, January 7, 2013

A short introduction into the Understanding cybercriminals and Russian Partnerkas

Cybercrime on the rise and growing like bluebonnets on a hot Texas day. The Russian and ever since the fall of the Iron Curtain, has been a major player with regards to internet crimes. These affiliate networks  known as the “Partnerkas” are populated all over the world. Most are based in Russia or Ukraine.

“So what are these guys up to?”
As one of my  Ukrainian friend told me many many years ago; anything that drives money into their hands. 

One of the classic method is from execution of a scareware tactic.
We all at one time have hit that http hyperlink that directs you to a site that claims to  inspect your computer. And after it runs for a 1-to-3 minutes, it tells you a virus exist and then magically give you a link for a pay-antivirus/malware  removal software kit. 1st off the scan was fraudulent, and the  antivirus is a fraud also.
As a matter of fact, 7 out of 10 times, the antivirus/malware you install is filled with  Trojans or other nasty that could cause more problems or infect your machine with botcode that could than allow a botmaster to use your hosts as a agent.
“Okay what other things do they do?”
They are known for generating Blackhat SEO ( search engine optimization). What this basically does, is to allow for improve hits when you conduct a search engine search. This is all done fraudulently , & with deception, and by using doorway pages, cloaking and with hidden webpage text. All of these deceptive means are picked up by webcrawler and typically requires an external or manual party to review these entries in order to police or remove them.

A lot of website webmaster will pay a big $$$$$s for Blackhat SEO , & just to improve their website  rating and with the hope of more hits = more traffic and sales.

“Okay here’s another ideal of what our former Ruskies friends are doing”

Cybercrime sales for other cyber-criminals. Yes there’s a market for spam, vulnerabilities creation, bot code creation, malware, anonymizer, and loaders. And the Russian are good are at providing all of the above.  If you want to become a cybercrimes criminals, the Russians have a market with helping you become that cybercriminal.
“And lastly,  DDoS !”

The Russian underground has numerous involvement with regards to creating and mastering DDoS attacks. This market is not as profitable as some of the other activities previously mention. Online fraud by far, is the #1 main source within the  cybercriminals activities and can generate quick & easy funds that can be used to finance or bank role other activities. A lot of these funds are then launder into other legit business.

I admire these guys for the dedication of what they are doing. They see a need and full fill that need as in the same way the now in prison Viktor Blount "Merchant of Death".
Be safe and play fair. I hope this short intro into the cybercrimes was helpful

Ken Felix
Freelance Network & Security Engineer
kfelix at hyperfeed com

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